How Your Actions Affect and Influence Your Kids
We’ve all come to know that children learn from watching and not from hearing. So chances are, your kids will always do what you do and not do what you ask them to do! The catch here is that we are not perfect — we all have our flaws and certainly don’t want our kids to learn those flaws and make the same mistakes in their lives. So if you want to bring up good kids, first you need to be good yourself. Research has shown that happy couples bring up kids who are successful in their personal relationships. According to therapists, you can teach your kids a thing or two about love and relationships. The best part is that in the process, you will learn about how to make your own relationships better, too! Ready now?
Responding To Bids For Attention
Gottman Institute was founded by husband-wife duo Julie and John Gottman who figured out that there are certain micro behaviors that determine the health of our relationships. These are called “bids for attention”. For example, the husband comes home from the office, and the wife wants to say something. The husband would be either very interested or disinterested. It has been found that a happy couple usually responds positively and hence is always interested. If it is not possible to show interest right then, they at least try to postpone it to a later time politely. This not only applies to your spouse but to your children as well. It is not possible for us to always respond nicely especially when we are stressed out. In those cases, make it a point to apologize later. It is these small actions that will teach your children to emulate you in the future.
Inculcating a Model Of Appreciation
When kids see their parents being mutually appreciative of each other’s qualities, they learn to do the same. It is not enough to silently acknowledge good things. Make it a point to say it out loud — “dinner was wonderful”, “thanks for taking me out today”, “I can always count on you to fix things”. This will help the kids appreciate small things, and when they are in a relationship, they will do likewise.
Getting Rid Of Contempt In Your Relationship
This is as important for the kids as for the parents. If you keep criticizing your partner or have contempt for them, this is the time to get rid of it. If you can’t do it all by yourself, get professional help, find the root cause because contempt can lead to emotional abuse. For example, if the wife is treated with contempt by the husband, the children will think this is acceptable. The boys will treat their partner in a similar manner, and the girls won’t mind being treated like that. It’s never okay to normalize this kind of toxic behavior. Sometimes, contempt is thinly veiled in sarcasm and often called a joke, but this is humiliating for the other person.
Being Kind And Social Towards Your Kids’ Friends
This has more than one purpose. As your kids grow and get in their teens, chances are that they will start dating. So, make all your children’s friends feel welcome at home, and be kind and friendly towards them. This will teach your kids to treat everyone they meet with kindness and respect. They would also have expectations from others to be treated likewise, but when they don’t, they will know that these people are not the right kind of friends for them. This is a sure shot way to teach who is right for them!
Building Your Own Culture
As gender roles are changing all over the world, it is totally important to educate our kids about these, too. However, as mentioned before, they learn from what they see. As for us, we have been brought up in such a culture that it is very easy for us to slip into our traditional gender roles without even thinking of it. Hence, the child might tend to think that it is the mother’s job to always set the table or it is the father’s role to always wash the car. Hence, what you need to do is build a new culture just for your family. This will take time and a bit of negotiation, but if you can do this, your children will grow up to be better human beings.
Remember to always be careful with your actions, especially when you are around your kids. How you treat yourself and the people around you influence the growth of your children and the ideals they follow throughout the rest of their lives.
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